“I often build a relationship with my paintings as if they are my off- spring.” — Diana Reyes
ISSUE: Fall 2011
STORY: Han Cho
Artist Diana Reyes, a.k.a. Fly Lady Di, brings new meaning to “art show.”
Diana Reyes is a dancer with an impressive résumé: She’s been featured in music videos for artists such as Fabolous and Fall Out Boy, and appeared in the film Honey starring Jessica Alba. Never- theless, Reyes considers herself a painter first. Better known as Fly Lady Di, the Filipina Canadian is a visual artist noted for her stylized “graffiti” art.
The influence of graffiti is clear. Reyes infuses bold, flat colors with intricate patterns and black outlines, a quality seen in most street art. However, her feminine subjects stay powerful and grounded, and oftentimes she puts herself “in almost everything that I create, much like the work of Frida Kahlo.
“I often build a relationship with my paintings as if they are my off- spring,” says Reyes. “They are whom I have given life to.”
Reyes’ performance and art back- grounds come together in Live Art, a relatively new and little known art form. Live Art is a performance undertaken by the artist before an audience, revealing the private working processes of the artist. “When done in public within a strict time limit, art takes on a whole new meaning,” says Reyes. “Live Art inspired me because I had never seen painting pursued in that way.”
As the new assistant dance director of The Manifesto, a hip-hop art and music festival based in Toronto, now in its fourth year this fall, Reyes will be running the first-ever All-Styles Dance event in addition to exhibiting both new and old artwork, an indication of her rising success. “People don’t understand the willingness and luxuries we have to sacrifice to live as creative people,” she says. “The luxury is to live as a creative person, and not by society’s rules but by our own.”
Find out more about Diana Reyes at FlyLadyDi.com.
— Han Cho
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